Yet another book meme

Laura at 11D tagged me for a book meme (started by John Cole) about books read as a young adult that are worth re-reading:

"So, what fiction did you read as a teen/young adult that you have re-read as an adult (or would like to)? What pieces of fiction meant something to you? Put up your list, and pass it on to 2-3 people."

I found this a surprisingly hard assignment, in spite of the fact (possibly because of the fact) that like Laura I read pretty much non-stop as a teenager.  Of all the things that I like to do now in my free time — read, cook, run, blog, take photos — reading was the only one that I did as a teen.   And I had a lot more free time then. (On the other hand, I spent a lot of time in high school playing bridge, which I haven’t done in years.)

Part of the problem is that I almost never re-read books anymore.  There are so many books I haven’t gotten to on my "to-read" list that I find it hard to justify re-reading books.  So, I’m thinking of this more along the lines of "books that I read as a teenager/young adult that I’d be thrilled to find on a bookshelf in a rental house when it rained all vacation assuming my kids were suddenly old enough to entertain themselves for a couple of hours."

Looking at Cole’s list, I see both the Narnia books* and A Wrinkle in Time.  I loved these books, and eagerly look forward to reading them with my children, but I’m pretty sure I was still in elementary school or junior high when I read them. 

So, without further ado, here are my 5 books in no particular order:

  • The Left Hand of Darkness, by Ursula LeGuin.  Works as both a story and as a thought experiment.
  • Nightfall and Other Stories, by Isaac Asimov.  The title story is, in my opinion, the best thing Asimov ever wrote. (No, I haven’t read all 300+ books that he published. But I think I’ve read all the sci-fi.) And it was his first published story, at age 17.
  • And Then There Were None, by Agatha Christie.  I’m pretty sure I have read all of Christie’s mysteries.  This one is especially clever, but I’d be happy to find any of them in a rainy cabin. It might even be better to find an obscure one, because I might have forgotten who done it.
  • Crime and Punishment, by Fyodor Dostoyevsky.  Yes, I really did read it as a teenager.  But I have a feeling that a lot of it went over my head.  I want to give it another chance.
  • My Antonia, by Willa Cather.  I don’t actually remember much of the plot of this, but I remember the feeling of intense, almost erotic, pleasure that I got reading it. 

I’ll also list a few books that aren’t nearly as profound as I thought they were as a teenager:

If you think it would be fun to answer this meme, consider yourself tagged and leave me a trackback.

*Speaking of Narnia, any thoughts about the forthcoming movie of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe?  The preview I saw at Revenge of the Sith looked visually impressive, but I’m not sure I want D’s first interaction with the story to be a movie rather than the books.  I’m also a little nervous about how heavy-handed they’re going to be about the Christian allegory, which went right over my head until I was older.

3 Responses to “Yet another book meme”

  1. Angry Pregnant Lawyer Says:

    The best version of “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” that I ever saw was a (live action) version done by the BBC in 1988. I think it’s coming out on DVD soon. (But of course, the book is better.)

  2. Cecily Says:

    I just re-read all the Narnia books to refresh my memory for betting judging of the movie. I was terribly worried about Aslan–would they make him look silly, like Sirius Black as a dog did in the last Harry Potter movie (why they didn’t just use a real dog is beyond me). But he looks ok.
    I’m worried about the Christianity thing too; although, honestly, it’s much more prevelant in the other six books than in LWW. The first book is obviously biblical, as is the last one. But LWW, other than Aslan getting slaughtered and then coming back to life, is pretty subtle. Like you said, it went right over my head when I was a kid. Course, I didn’t notice the anti-Islam slant to the books until now either.
    So that’s my rather long-winded take. I promise to review the movie on my blog once it’s out. I’m a movie whore, so I’ll definitely see it (I see nearly everything, it’s a terrible habit).

  3. LPF Says:

    I’m glad to hear that others didn’t get the Christian symbolism in the Narnia books when they first read them. I remember my friend, Marianne, scornfully saying to me, “they’re about Jesus!” Boy, did I feel dumb. ;)

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